A lot of things in life can make us angry, and feeling anger is perfectly natural. However, when that anger is poorly managed, it can quickly begin to have a negative impact upon both our physical, and mental health.
If you’re concerned that feelings of anger are becoming uncontrollable and your mental health is beginning to suffer, what can you do to help yourself?
Don’t ignore your anger; this will only ever make things worse:
Acknowledging that you’re angry, rather than trying to ignore or hide your feelings, will enable you to begin learning how to manage it; only when you accept your anger can you ever truly try to move forward.
Here are some important things to remember while trying to manage your anger:
- Manage it from a calm place:
When you are beginning to experience feelings of anger that you fear might escalate, try to remain as calm as you can possibly be. There are several popular and effective physical techniques to help reclaim calm, such as breathing exercises or doing a little light exercise, and some simple mental techniques, like trying to think about something completely unrelated. One tried and tested technique is perhaps the simplest: counting to ten with your eyes closed before you act out of your anger.
- Find the cause of your anger:
We don’t always know exactly what has made us feel angry, but it’s important to try and identify the target of the anger, to be able to make efforts to better manage our feelings. If we don’t know what we’re angry about, with who, or even why, it can make dealing with that anger so much harder.
One way of helping to identify the source or target of your anger, is to try expressing your feelings by writing them down in a journal. Or, by talking openly with a close friend, trusted family member or a trained therapist. The advantage of speaking to a therapist is that they are experts in helping people to recognize their emotional states and can professionally guide them through the steps that they can take to better manage them.
- Decide what technique will work best for you:
A therapist or counselor can talk to you about which anger management techniques might work best for you, or it may be a case of trying a few before finding the right one. One technique known as ‘cognitive reframing’, can help you to see things in a different light, and can even show you solutions to a problem that you might not even have thought about.
When trying to better manage your anger so that it doesn’t have a negative impact upon your mental health – whether you have an existing condition or not – it’s vital that you are honest about when, or if, you might need some extra help. It doesn’t have to be professional help (although that’s often the most reliable source), it can simply mean talking to a friend or partner, because anger issues are best resolved in relationship to others.
Learn more at heartcenteredcounselors.com